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review 2016-02-24 05:16
Pull - Anne Riley

**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

This book wasn't quite what I expected - from the lack of time-travel as seen in popular fiction to the villains. I struggled through the first 100 pages or so (my copy didn't have page numbers, so I'm ballparking here), and I was pretty much ready to give up. There was little time-travel elements at that point, it was mainly focusing on Rosie's brother's myriad of problems, and the family dealing with the loss of their grandfather. Which, frankly, while not particularly bad, was getting depressing and wasn't something for which I had signed up. But I checked to see if this was a series and seeing that it is a standalone prompted me to keep going. That, and it might not have the best writing, but it read pretty fast and kept you interested, after the action picked up a bit. And in the end, it was a pretty decent read.

So basically there's this group of super-special folks who can "Pull" time back to correct a recent event called Servatores, and they formed from a group of these meta-humanesque types back in Nero's day. Enter some Biblical referencing, in which the fallen angels most likely paired up with some humans to create half demon spawn, and eventually one of their descendants gave birth to...Nero. Yup.That Nero. Now Nero, being roughly 1/500(or whatever) demon, decides that messing with black magic is the way to go. And these humans that he infects with this black sorcery are these creepy zombie/human/beasties things called Mortiferi. The Servatores formed from the meta-humanesque group in order to combat these Mortiferi, and they've been going at it ever since. Why exactly the Servatores can rewind time is never really explained. And yeah, the above is a trip down crazy lane, but when you're reading it in the book, it doesn't come across as quite so crazy?

There are groups of Servatores in all the big cities, but there's very few Servatores worldwide. The Servatores that are around try their bestest to rewind and fix deaths/abductions and Mortiferi related actions, but there's only a few, so they what? Literally run around the whole of their city and pick something they deem important to rewind?? Because "Pulling" back time is so exhausting, they can only do it once every couple hours, and they can't rewind time more than a few minutes at a time. The furthest back any Servatore group was ever able to rewind - all working together - was three hours. It just seems like it would be awfully hard to actually make a difference, but these guys sure try.

Okay, so Rosie's Granddad was a Servatore, and a really famous one, and he passes his talent on to Rosie, who is pretty hecka confused about the whole situation and is dealing with her dumb-ass brother's decisions and also trying to deal emotionally with losing her grandpa (and her slimy boyfriend waaah) all in the same day. Thankfully she eventually gets the local London Servatores to believe her story and convince them she's the real deal and get them to let her into their closely knit group.

The reasoning behind the Mortiferi's deal with the very upset man from Rosie's Grandpa's past was a little ridiculous. I mean, I know grief can make people do some crazy things, but this one is up there on that list. But anyways, of course eventually the Mortiferi show up in a big way and really start to muck things up, causing Rosie to have to "Pull" her weight in the Servatores to save everyone else's butt. (PUN INTENDED)

As far as the romance went, it wasn't bad, or mushy, or a main focus, so that was nice. I would have liked to have seen the team aspect played up even more, but what we did get of the London Servatore group working together was good.

(spoiler show)

Nothing amazing or anything, but I did enjoy reading it.

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review 2013-01-18 00:00
Shadows of the Hidden
Shadows of the Hidden - Anne Riley

Another book to add to my list of those I am truly glad I accepted for review! Shadows of the Hidden was most definitely worth it. We meet Natalie at a difficult time in her life. With her parent's disappearance looming over her, it doesn't really seem fair that she should have to deal with normal teenage issues as well. Then she notices her classmate Liam sneaking off into the woods at night, which sets into motion quite the unbelievable and intriguing story.


I was amazed at how easily I fell into step with the characters in this book. Natalie is the type of character I adore. Sweet, strong, and honestly simple in her appearance and mannerisms. She's a wonderfully normal girl. I liked that the author gave Natalie this personality because it was believable. It made it easy to understand her! Still, the favorite character card definitely goes to Liam. Mysterious, sweet, and full of courage, he was a perfect partner for Natalie and I adored him.


Speaking of the story, it's a great one. I think Riley does a stellar job of keeping the plot moving. Always giving just enough to keep you guessing, and wanting to read on to find out where things are going. Mystery, and just a touch of magic, are turned into a rich tapestry of a story line. I couldn't keep myself from skipping ahead now and then to see if I was right about what was coming. I admit it. Although I would have liked a little more closure on certain aspects (no spoilers here!) I can't deny that I devoured this book.


I highly recommend giving Shadows of the Hidden a spot on your reading list. Fans of fantasy and science fiction will find elements to love here, as well as lovers of more contemporary reads. Kudos to Anne Riley for weaving such an epic tale. I can't wait to read more!

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